All About Lily Chou-Chou
Director: Shunji Iwai Run Time: 146 min. Format: DCP Release Year: 2001 Language: Japanese
Starring: Ayumi Ito, Hayato Ichihara, Shugo Oshinari, Takao Osawa, Yu Aoi
Summer 1999. Lily. Goddess. Internet. Disconnect. Welcome to the Ether. Long before Tumblr, Myspace or anything offering salvation from the void, teenage obsessives find escape in message boards dedicated to a mysterious, “Bjork-like chanteuse” named Lily. While at once tracing their very online lives, writer-director Shunji Iwai turns his camera on all manners of hell kids get up to in the Japanese countryside. From shoplifting to extreme bullying to illicit sex work — this resolutely original piece of pre-social media cinema sees the messy world of junior high students set against a steady thrum of keyboard taps. Over twenty years on, from Instagram reels to TikTok stitches, ALL ABOUT LILY CHOU-CHOU continues to resonate with anyone who has ever typed #aesthetic or used the internet as a coping mechanism — in other words: everyone.
In Japanese with English subtitles.